It may never be this good again for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Well, actually, let's restate that. Until they are holding multiple Oscars in their hands after a triumphant Academy Awards it may never be this good again for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
Over the past six months, the longtime collaborators have spearheaded the surprise animated blockbuster “The Lego Movie” and are about to debut the sequel to their 2012 comedy hit “21 Jump Street,” the appropriately titled “22 Jump Street.” Already earning better reviews than its predecessor, “22 Jump” is also set for a monster $55 million plus opening weekend. The movie is basically a guaranteed smash and Lord and Miller, who made their feature directing debut on “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” are now two of the most sought after directors in town.
The duo sat down this past weekend to talk about “22 Jump Street,” a movie which marvelously mocks the concept of sequels while also continuing to spoof the fact it's a movie based on a TV show (obviously comical in itself). While Lord, Miller and screenwriters Michael Bacall, Rodney Rothman, Oren Uziel continue to mine laughs with the bromance between Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), there are two (sets of) supporting players who really steal the show.
The Lucas Brothers, twin brothers Kenny and Keith, are standup comics and comedy actors best known for their animated TV series “Lucas Bros. Mining Co.” who play (wait for it) two twins who live across the hall from Schmidt and Jenko. Their comedic timing is impeccable and if you haven't heard of them before this movie (and chances are you haven't), you'll be seeing a ton of them down the road.
The biggest scene stealer, however, is Jillian Bell best known for her work on Comedy Central's “Workaholics.” Bell plays the dorm mate of Maya (Amber Stevens) who becomes Schmidt's love interest. Her constant ripping of Schmidt is some of the hands down funniest moments of the flick and almost entirely improvised. In case you're wondering if she's really going anywhere, she just happens to have a role in Paul Thomas Anderson's “Inherent Vice” coming later this year.
Lord and Miller discuss the Lucas Brothers, Bell and just how difficult it was to shoot “Jump Street” and direct “The Lego Movie” at the same time in the interview embedded at the top of this post. It's worth it if just to get their opnions on these future stars.
“22 Jump Street” opens nationwide on Friday.